Maureen Pratt Author PicYou’re upset over a new diagnosis, and you reach for the package of cookies. You know you shouldn’t eat them; your blood sugar’s been like a roller coaster lately. But it’s as if you’re on auto-pilot. Upset + availability of cookies = inevitable.

Or, you’re so lonely that you’ll jump at any invitation to go out, even if it means being among unsavory people who engage in unhealthful, or possibly even dangerous activities.

Or, you are going through a particularly bad patch with your chronic illness. It’s flaring, you feel awful, and so you let your regular, more healthful routine, slide. Perhaps you let your home and good grooming habits slide, too. Pretty soon, you look like you feel, inside and out. And you begin to feel even worse because you do.

There are myriad ways that we can sabatoge our health. Yes, even if we say, “I want to do what’s best for me,” we might not act like it. And, before we know it, we might be in even worse shape than before, spiraling quickly farther and farther down.

One of the first things to do to stop from self-sabotage is to understand your tendancy to do it. Know that you use food to self-medicate sadness. Know that your loneliness might lead to less-than-good-for-you people. Turn a very stark, very objective mirror on yourself and soak in that truth, the one that’s hard to see, but necessary to understand.

Invite someone you know and trust to help you break unhealthful cycles. This is sort of like having a sponsor in a 12-step program. Reaching for the cookies? Reach out, instead, for your friend who will talk you down from them. Lonely and desperate? Spend the evening writing a long email or a letter to someone you love who’s far away. Or, pick up the telephone.

If you’re life has become a shambles, don’t even think of righting everything all at once. Prioritize. Plan. And take the clean-up one step at a time.

Obviously, we need to work closely with our medical team throughout our illness. This also means letting them know when you’ve gone (a bit?) overboard on the cholesterol or drifted away from your doctor-prescribed exercise plan. Good doctors can be wonderful cheerleaders, and help you shake off unhealthful habits.

The important thing in all of this is not to get down on yourself for self-sabotage. Habits can be changed. Our Lord is  forgiving. And we should be forgiving of our foibles, too, so that we “go and sabotage no more!”

Blessings for the day,


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